MTV's 'Skins' Is a Twitter -- and Ratings -- Hit

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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Suddenly, everything old in television is new -- or newish -- again. OK, well, three things, at least: "American Idol," which returns in a revamped, Simon Cowell-free format for its 10th-season debut tonight. And MTV's teen drama "Skins," which is a remake of a cult British series (back then I loved it) of the same name. Not to mention "Piers Morgan Tonight," the successor to "Larry King Live" on CNN. For this week's Trendrr charticle -- a collaboration between Advertising Age and social-media tracking service Trendrr -- we decided to parse the Twitter buzz about the three most media-hyped TV shows of moment. Some notes:

  • Piers Morgan only got on Twitter (@piersmorgan) in late November. I know this because he said so at Ad Age's ME*: Media Evolved conference on Nov. 30 (we had him interview John "Roger Sterling" Slattery on stage before a live audience). Now he's got more than 200,000 followers.
  • Since Monday, a roll-up of Piers Morgan-related terms on Twitter (including "Piers Morgan," "Piers," "@piersmorgan," etc.) has averaged around 500 to 1,000 tweets an hour, with a one-hour peak of 3,101 tweets last night -- actually gaining momentum from Monday night, when he had a one-hour peak of 1,662 tweets. His total daily tweet volume jumped from roughly 20,000 on Monday to more than 31,000 on Tuesday.
  • Trendrr's sentiment analysis -- which uses machine logic to map words against the feelings they are typically meant to convey -- shows Twitter sentiment surrounding Piers Morgan to be overwhelmingly supportive so far, with an 84% positive rating (despite many critics harping on his fanboyish debut interview with Oprah Winfrey).
  • According to preliminary ratings data from Nielsen, "Piers Morgan Tonight" drew 2.1 million viewers Monday evening, almost tripling Larry King's average in the same timeslot.
  • MTV's "Skins" is a bona fide Twitter smash, with a roll-up of related terms (including "Skins," "#mtvskins" and "#skins") posting a one-hour peak of 21,878 tweets on Monday night, and 54,230 tweets total by the end of the day. MTV was definitely keeping track, as they trumpeted the show's Twitter profile in a press release that read, in part, "Online, the premiere of 'Skins' was Twitter's No. 2 worldwide trending topic and No. 3 in the U.S. (#mtvskins)" -- around the time the show was airing, that is.
  • Trendrr chart

    Recent hourly tweet volume for Piers Morgan (red), 'Skins' (green) and 'American Idol' (orange).

  • "Skins" drew 3.26 million total viewers -- with MTV noting that it outperformed the launches of "competitive scripted shows across both cable and network" in its core demo (12-34), including CW's "Gossip Girl" and ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars."
  • Trendrr's sentiment analysis surrounding "Skins" is also unusually high, with an 89% positive (despite critics -- most of whom are surely far outside of the demo -- generally harshing on it, so far).
  • "Idol" buzz is starting to surge rapidly today; stay tuned. But to give you an idea of the momentum, on Monday a little over 5,100 tweets name-checked "American Idol" and related terms; Tuesday the total surged to more than 22,000. As of 10 EST this morning, there were already 17,540 "Idol"-related tweets.

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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